The “fiscal cliff” drama presents opportunities for leadership, which is something the Republican Party naturally seeks, following a difficult election loss. Among those bidding for the leadership of the conservative resistance is Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), who issued a tough statement about House Speaker John Boehner’s instantly rejected compromise proposal:
Speaker Boehner’s $800 billion tax hike will destroy American jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more, while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny. This isn’t rocket science. Everyone knows that when you take money out of the economy, it destroys jobs, and everyone knows that when you give politicians more money, they spend it. This is why Republicans must oppose tax increases and insist on real spending reductions that shrink the size of government and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money.
Big government is the cause of our debt crisis, not the solution. Washington has a spending addiction that is shackling our children and grandchildren with unsustainable debt. Conservatives fought for a balanced budget amendment last year precisely because we knew the political establishment in Washington would never stop their tax and spend addiction without it. However, if neither party leadership is going to put forward a serious plan to balance the budget and pay down the debt, we should end this charade. We can stop the fiscal cliff with the bill that House Republicans already passed that simply extends the current tax rates and replaces the defense cuts with reductions in wasteful spending.
(Emphases mine.) Curiously, I noticed that a great many media sources quoted the first highlighted passage from DeMint’s statement… but virtually none of them quoted the second part, where he reminds everyone that he put his shoulders behind a plan that really would have solved our deficit crisis, the Cut, Cap and Balance Act. At one point during Washington’s previous ”budget ceiling” Muppet show, DeMint said he was only a votes shy of getting Cut, Cap, and Balance through the Senate. It was killed with parliamentary manuevers in the Senate – you know, stuff like the filibuster that becomes a menace to democracy when Republicans do it, but is the very essence of patriotism in Democrat hands.